Liberty
War of Words

December 13, 2012

It is not a novel concept for opposing political groups to focus on vocabulary superiority.  A feeble minded, me-focused electorate requires the use of buzzwords and sound bites to be manipulated. To the originator of the accepted propaganda-laden words go the spoils.  “Illegal aliens” vs. “undocumented immigrants.” From mislabeled legislation to the accepted use of the term “inflation.”

Have you ever noticed that the titles given to legislation coming out of Washington D.C. is often arrogantly misrepresentative of the underlying law’s substance?  The US Patriot Act (which is used to spy on Americans) to the Health Care Affordability Act (which has already accelerated health insurance premium costs and is estimated to cost over $1Trillion over the next decade). And the list goes on. 

What percentage of the population is aware that the equation used to report “inflation” (which drives monetary and fiscal policy) has been changed 9 times in the last decade?  And yet, US dollar debauching continues as the electorate accepts the reported inflation numbers (despite living with soaring cost of gas, food, healthcare, rent, etc).  The equivalent of having someone piss on your leg while they tell you it’s raining. But, the collective simply nods and accepts the rearranged inflation report as if it came from a deity.

Emotional, inadequately descriptive labels are pinned on ‘news’ items for manipulative reasons.  Today we need look no further than the emotionally charged “fiscal cliff” label attached to a tax increase and spending cut deadline.  Though in reality the day after the deadline will likely not be any different than the day before. 

I combat such nonsense by aggressively filtering my media intake.  I turned in television years ago and I read statements/laws/press releases directly from the source. 

Choose your words wisely. 

Homosexuals and the NRA

The title of this rant is somewhat misleading.  I could have used a myriad of labels in place of ‘homosexuals’ or ‘NRA.’ 

I am surprised at how many people place the plight of various groups (abortionists, wealthy, etc) into different camps while ignoring the fact that the said group is made up of individuals.  And each individual battles the same foe. Government. Each group is birthed by the desire of individual liberty.  The liberty to do as they wish in the bedroom, protect themselves through armament, use their property as they see fit, etc.  

The demands, laments and frustrations of each individual is nothing short of a protest against an over-bearing government.

[note:  this rant will not focus on organizations that exist solely to collude with government (i.e. labor unions, environmental organizations, crony capitalists, etc)]  

Why can’t the religious zealot, the ‘prepper’, the bi-sexual, the wealthy tax payer/landowner, the employer join together to fight their common foe?  At the end of the day each of these individuals wants the same thing…. Liberty. 

2011 Personal Tax Summary

Percentage of Tax paid on my 2011 Taxable Income:

Federal : 34.8%

CA State: 9.2%

Property Tax: 5.2%

Misc Sales Tax: 1.7%

DMV Tax: 1.1%

Total: 52%

#”Fair Share”

David Ramirez

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12

I wish I wrote this…

American Progressivism- Epic Fail

Any quality strategy should include a performance matrix to analyze said strategy.  The progressive strategy, jump started in 1913 (16th Amendment and Federal Reserve Act- later amended in 1977), put on steroids under Franklin D Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and Lyndon B. Johnson “Great Society,” has failed Americans.  If the intention of the progressive movement was birthed by virtuous or evil hearts is a completely different debate.  Performance metrics used to grade the impact on either the individual or society as a collective shows that the progressive movement has failed (continues to fail).

This analysis will in large part ignore the desecration of individual liberty and focus on the deterioration of the quality of life of the collective due to progressive policies. 

The following tenets are at the heart of the progressive strategy: 

  • Politicians, government planners and bureaucrats (Federal Reserve, “Department of XYZ”, etc) are required in order to provide equality to society through the sacrifice of individual liberty.
  • Politicians, government planners and bureaucrats are capable of managing, manipulating and forcing the economy in a manner that serves society; through law (controlling interest rates, regulations, tax code, fees, etc).
  • Politicians, government planners and bureaucrats are required to protect citizens from themselves, bad luck and the acts of others (via regulation, educations, etc).
  • Politicians, government planners and bureaucrats can be trusted with power.
  • Assets (private property) are first and foremost the property of the government.
  • Policies designed to provide ‘safety nets’ for ‘unlucky’ citizens (lost jobs, limbs, health, etc) are a fundamental right and providing for such will benefit society.

Providing equality, through force, is an immoral and futile exercise.  Despite onerous employment laws, irrational powers granted to employee unions (public and private), a progressive tax system, countless regulations bought by special interests equality has not improved.  Wealth equality (“Wealth Gap”) is unchanged from 1913 to 2008 (the top 1% of society still hold approx 18% of the total wealth).  Progressives don’t dispute the wealth gap (or the highly comparative “Income Gap”), they simple choose to ignore the fact that the same gap existed before their ideology took root. 

The mandate of the Federal Reserve is ‘price stability’ and ‘employment.’ The objective of every decision by the Federal Reserve is focused on either/both decreasing inflation or combating unemployment. How is the Fed doing?  A dollar in 1912 would be worth fewer than 5 cents today. Fail.  Today’s unemployment rate of 8.3% is over double what it was in 1912.  The recent ‘great recession’ marked the highest unemployment rate since 1977 (when the ‘unemployment mandate’ was signed into law).  The Federal Reserve has obviously failed its mandate.  

The impact of regulations seems to be working against society.   Habit derived ailments rise (pick your data point, one example, obesity has increased from 45% of population in 1965 to over 70% in 2005).

Despite more regulations the number of disabled Americans is at an all-time high (and rising). Shouldn’t increased regulations equate to decreased disabilities? 

Despite all the safety nets (including but not limited to unemployment insurance, workers compensation, public education, government sponsored career enrichment programs, etc) and regulations dependence on government is at an all time high. Keeping inflation neutral in the calculations, more than 15 times the resources were committed to paying for people who depend on government in 2010 than in 1962. 70.5% of federal spending now goes to dependence-creating programs, up dramatically from 28.3% in 1962, and 48.5% in 1990. Today US government spending on dependency programs (entitlements, education, farm subsidies, housing, food stamps, disability) is more than the total discretionary income of all Americans combined.   Soon the resources of the independent will not be enough to provide for the dependent.  This reality is smacking much of Europe in the face.   [Here we must ignore the notion that some progressives may see government dependence by society as an achievement]

The political process (and thus the rule of law) has been denigrated by the influences of corporatism (whereby corporations, labor unions, foreign nations, etc buy political influence). Limit the power of government and you will limit the ability of special interests to buy special treatment.  Witness the collapse of sustainable/healthy farming (growth of agribusiness to an oligopoly with a nations food source in the hands of few), the media monopoly, skyrocketing healthcare expenses, rising education expenses, war on drugs and the never ending cycle of American led wars via the military industrial complex as some of the byproducts of corporatism. Corporatism is the result of government wielding too much power and not having the integrity (or checks and balances) to revere such power.  Corporatism is made possible by the progressive’s belief that governments are worthy of near-absolute power.   

Public education is another great example of progressive government bureaucracy gone wrong.  The quality of education in the US continues to decline despite various reform programs and increased spending on education.  Average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores fell 41 points between 1972 and 1991 and the number of kids scoring over 600 on the verbal part of the SAT has fallen by 37 percent since 1972. Pick your study; US rankings among other nations in math/science are abysmal.

Progressive policies require (growing) government spending.  Unchecked spending has left the US (and Europe) drowning in debt.  The interest expense that taxpayers pay on US debt is up over 212% since 1980; in 1912 there was no national debt (thus no interest expense).  Today US debt is larger than the total 2012 US Gross Domestic Product. Today, the US Government debt is equal to over $139,000 per taxpayer.   Progressive policies have required an unsustainable/unserviceable amount of debt. The slightest increase in interest rates (currently being manipulated lower via the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing Programs/monetization of debt) will have a dramatic impact on interest expense.  It should go without saying that increased interest expense decreases the funds available for government services and forces higher taxation that hurts the economy.  The growth in debt cannot continue. 

In summary, the progressive strategy requiring the empowering of politicians, government planners and bureaucrats has failed both the American individual and American society as a collective.  The progressive strategy has brought about higher unemployment, inflation and (unhealthy) dependence on government. The power bestowed upon central planners has been pimped to special interests to the detriment of society.  Most importantly the progressive ‘holy grail’ of a more equitable sharing of wealth/income has not come to pass as progressive policies have had no material impact on equality as measured by the “Wealth Gap” or “Income Gap.” 

 

July 26th 2012 @themikeymcd

" …back in 2009, Team Obama predicted that if Congress passed its $800 billion stimulus plan, the unemployment rate would be around 5.6% today." 

 [Hint: Unemployment today is above 8.2%]

We have reached a profound point in economic history where the truth is unpalatable to the political class - and that truth is that the scale and magnitude of the problem is larger than their ability to respond - and it terrifies them.

Hugh Hendry

2009 Tax Holiday Facts- Consider This

In 2009 I would have chosen a 100% Federal Income Tax Holiday over the ARRA+ Stimulus to grow economy (+/-3%)

2009 Federal Income Taxes paid $866 Billion ()

2009 ARRA = $840 Billion ()


What would you have spent your tax savings on?

Clover is born March 2012

Clover is born March 2012